American Samizdat

Wednesday, July 29, 2009. *


So these should only exist on the perimeter of the ecovillage, I am guessing.

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posted by Dr. Menlo at 4:17 PM
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Tuesday, July 28, 2009. *
Physicians at Guantanamo violate medical ethics: study
(AFP) – July 24, 2009

WASHINGTON — The use of physicians at the US prison camp in Guantanamo Bay has forced medical professionals to violate their ethics codes, according to findings published Thursday in the UK journal Lancet.

The roles that medical professionals have been called on to play at the controversial detention facility "has damaged the integrity of the physicians working for the military and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)," the study said.

"These physicians had a conflict of loyalty because of their ethical obligations to their imprisoned patients and the Bush administration's demands to further the goals and interests of military commanders and intelligence officials." [...]
Most Americans, I imagine, remain under the impression that torture of prisoners and their use as subjects of human experimentation was the province of evil Japanese and Nazi military scientists and doctors during WWII. Many may also assume that such practices have occurred within the extended Soviet Union and, perhaps, by the governments of China, North Korea, and the like. But the "It Can't Happen Here" syndrome is widespread. Never would this happen in and by the United States. Nothing, however, could be further from the truth.

We all now know that our military and "intelligence" forces have used scientific techniques, monitored and/or administered by doctors to torture captives in the "war on terror" since 9/11/2001. They did this in the name of "national security", that malodorous phrase which they use to justify any and all conceivable war crimes and other crimes against humanity perpetrated by themselves and their operatives. It is likely that these techniques are still used.

What is not widely known is that the military-medical-scientific complex has been and still is guilty of these crimes, not just against perceived "enemies", but indeed against our own citizens and members of our military forces.

Let me make it clear that I do not condone such experimentation, conducted with any goal in mind on any humans, foe or friend. The fact that they have been and continue to be foisted on Americans by Americans is simply testament to the arrogant and cynical disregard for human safety and life that are supposed to be the very basis of our society. Further, their ubiquitous occurances belie any attempt to characterize such experiments as isolated instances of unethical behavior on the part of a few rogue scientists.

After WWII, as the result of the unveiling of Nazi atrocities, the Nuremberg Code was put in place. The rules governing human experimentation are clear:
  • Informed consent is essential.
  • Research should be based on prior animal work.
  • The risks should be justified by the anticipated benefits.
  • Research must be conducted by qualified scientists.
  • Physical and mental suffering must be avoided.
  • Research in which death or disabling injury is expected should not be conducted.
I've just finished reading two books on the subject of human experimentation conducted in the United States since WWII and the present. The first is In the Name of Science: A History of Secret Programs, Medical Research, and Human Experimentation by Andrew Goliszek (St Martin's Press, New York: 2003); the second, by Jonathan D. Moreno, is Undue Risk: Secret State Experiments on Humans (Routledge, New York: 2001). Together, these two volumes catalog hundreds of experiments since the late 1940s conducted on both military personnel and civilians. All of the experiments documented in the books were conducted either in secret and/or under a cover of disception, exposing unwitting subjects to radiation, biochemicals, and other agents. Few, if any, of these experiments fulfilled the rules set out by the Nuremberg Code and, in many cases, subjects have been made critically and chronically ill or have died from the effects of these experiments.

I have neither the resources nor the wish to recount these betrayals here - they are too numerous - but one personal perspective is in order . . .

[more at P! ...]
posted by Unknown at 1:07 PM
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Saturday, July 25, 2009. *

A recent comment on my blog led to me asking the question of whether internet security firms may actually have some involvement in the writing of the malware and viruses that they charge us to remove.

Do you think it is a possibility?

Comments appreciated.
posted by Padawan at 3:32 PM
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Monday, July 20, 2009. *

40 years ago today man stepped foot on the moon in what will probably go down as one of the definign moments of our evolution.

Ever since, however, the video footage, photographs and personal accounts of that extraordinary mission have been questioned.

A great many people - 1 in 4 from the repoerts I have read - believe that the entire incident was faked for a variety of reasons.

Therefore I ask:

Should we celebrate or question one of man's crowning moments?
posted by Padawan at 1:19 PM
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There are three men who have set the standard for mass media journalism - Murrow, Cronkite, and Moyers. Unlike many of my readers, I am sure, I am old enough to have been influenced directly and personally by all three.

My memories of Edward R. Murrow are fleeting and vague. I heard him on the radio and saw him on TV in the early days. He was a man my father said he trusted, so I never doubted that what he reported was accurate and honest.

Bill Moyers is still around. I trust him so much that in early 2007, I jumped on the "Draft Moyers for President" bandwagon. You knew that Bill had integrity when he refused to compromise himself and his values by answering the call. Part of me, I must admit, is still sorry that he didn't run, but I respect him for it. He can do more damage to the culture of lies right where he is. I'm certain that his stint as LBJ's press secretary soured him on DC politics for good. He has continuously worked hard to redeem himself in the grand church of honest journalism ever since his White House days. And now, Moyers is the last man standing (notwithstanding Andy Rooney)...

[More at P! ...]
posted by Unknown at 11:09 AM
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Saturday, July 18, 2009. *
Thursday, July 16, 2009. *

And how long does this stay on the top of the page...
Amsam members?
posted by Youngfox at 8:15 AM
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Tuesday, July 14, 2009. *
Trading Democracy for Corporate Rule
Hi from Xanada,

Ten Reasons to Oppose the SPP and TILMA

'You, Me, and the S.P.P: Trading Democracy for Corporate Rule'
"a feature length documentary which exposes the corporatist agenda that is currently undermining the democratic authority of the citizens of North America.
Two processes, the Security Prosperity Partnership (SPP) and the Trade Investment Labour Mobility Agreement (TILMA) are rapidly eroding and eliminating standards, civil liberties, regulatory systems and institutions put in place over generations through the democratic process."
However, Canada has a minority government and the always-pending election promises everything will stay the same always.

But wait, There’s More...

There is a great Canadian tune about the decaying nature of our fair nation Called
“End of Me”
, by a favourite artist, Wax Mannequin, that’s not too political, so to speak, but a wonderful regional soundtrack to the incremental implosion of the Canadian spirit.

You can hear/download the song (and others) HERE for the FREE
download the 2 track “Saxon” E.P. here for the FREE!

Enjoy a free song and don’t forget to smile as we are collectively ground.

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posted by Youngfox at 6:47 AM
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Sunday, July 12, 2009. *
Somewhere, somehow, during the past few months, we passed a final "point of no return".

If there truly was hope in the certain prospect of regime change, from the Bush/Neocon travesty to the Obama/Neoprogressive administration, it lay in the promise of confession, reconciliation, and redemption. It lay in the chance that the new presidency and a changed Congress would fully repudiate the self-destructive sins of at least two thirds of a century of dishonor, disinformation, and dissolution committed in the name and for the purposes of empire, capitalism, consumerism, and questionable "national security".

The mantra of "Change", repeated mercilessly during the presidential campaign, but in the absence of any concrete examples of what form that change would take, was no less Rovian than The Dubbleduh-Chainey Gang's invocation of "weapons of mass destruction" and "terrorism". The endless repetition had its desired effect. It played not to the head, but to the gut; was not about thought, but about emotions. It was, in fact, more religious than it was political; more about fantasy than reality. It was a prayer, nothing more, nothing less.

The majority of the American citizenry (not to mention the rest of the human ecology)knew that "something" was wrong. Many of us even knew what was wrong, even if most were still the Mr Jones in the Bob Dylan song, who had walked into the room, pencil in hand, only to remain fundamentally clueless.

Barack Obama was to be our savior. What we we needed to be saved from, however, was left to the individual imagination. The change that we got was inevitable, certain - Obama even said it himself: the change was Obama himself. "I am the change." The Newest Testament. No. More. Bush. Simple, eh?

The mistake, of course, is ... wait for it ... Bush was not the problem. Obama is not the problem now. Bush did, and Obama is doing now, exactly what we are paying him to do: run the country for the powers that got them elected, albeit "in our name", and with our votes.

If you've been here before, you probably know that I didn't vote in 2008. I didn't vote because my vote would be cast not for a candidate with a solution, but for a corrupt and destructive system, a system that continues to be based on war, lies, secrecy, murder, grand larceny, and general perfidy and mayhem.

In short, regime change did not occur - could not occur - as the result of the selection of 2008. Bush simply retired, he and his administration's goals, strategies, and tactics were not defeated and replaced. The regime continues.

The regime, you see, is not in Washington, DC. The regime is really in places where lurk corporate monstrosities and Bilderberg, Council on Foreign Relations, and Trilateral Commission operatives. In Obama and his own gang members, the regime has just found a new PR firm, a new management team, a new bunch (mostly) of front men, slicker, stealthier, and whole lot more familiar with the English language and matters of etiquette and style. Same play, new actors.

Ticket sales for the show had fallen way off; it was simply time for new blood, a new director and assistant director, new production staff, new costumes, and some critical changes in the script. But the backers are the same moguls. At least in the early part of the run, ticket sales have skyrocketed. It's SRO in the theater and the critics (most of them paid off) are being very kind.

So I hate to break it to those of you who still hope for the change you imagined. It ain't gonna happen; Obama is not our savior. It's not his job. We were, at best, a bit naive in our expectations. After all, we did not bankroll Obama's victory. The banks did. Obama rejected public money, remember? He doesn't work for us. He works for the banks and corporations. Deal with it. Our shocked indignation and cries of betrayal are falling on deaf (and cynical) ears. We must save ourselves ... from ourselves.

The Cambridge Dictionary defines "conscience" as, "the part of you that judges the morality of your own actions and makes you feel guilty about bad things that you have done or things you feel responsible for".

I think a collective examination of conscience is in order.

I'm not off the hook. In fact, the only conscience I can examine is my own. And I have plenty of my own brand of guilt and regret. For example, I'm still kicking myself for watching about three or four hours (total) of the Michael Jackson spectacle on TV, resulting in this post being overdue. I feel guilty about that because I knew it was a useless diversion from more important things I should be doing.

What if, for example, I had volunteered those hours at the homeless shelter that that housed me and fed me for a year, then told you about that experience? What if I had simply pushed my way through a bad case of blogger block and fulfilled my responsibility to you, my readers - especially those of you who have been so generous in donating to my fundraiser? It's not just that I would feel better about myself right now, but I might have helped you, helped society somehow.

I decidedly do not feel guilty about not voting in the past election. In fact, in a way, I did vote - I voted against a system that has systematically lost its conscience. I voted against presidential, congressional, and bureaucratic immorality and corruption. Frankly, I think voting would have been taking the easy way out: "I voted, so I have the right to complain if this new guy lets me down". Sigh.

In a democracy, individually and collectively, we are this country's conscience. We are responsible. "It's not my fault, it's (fill in the blank)'s fault" is really a criminal cop out.

Please, let's listen to that tiny voice that makes us feel guilty - before it just gives up and falls silent.

Be at and about peace.

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posted by Unknown at 12:38 PM
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Friday, July 10, 2009. *

By ‘Thomas Paine’
Online Journal Guest Writer

Jul 10, 2009, 00:21

California’s state finances have gone to pot, and that’s what it should use to pay its employees.

Right now the state is issuing IOUs to those who work for it. Sacramento says they are worth the paper they’re printed on, but most Californians know that’s true only if they are used to roll joints.

The state’s key available assets are in its farms and fields. . . . and in its prisons and legal system.

Medical marijuana is legal in California. Estimates put last year’s traffic in prescription-approved pot at around a billion dollars. If the state were properly organized to tax that and non-medical marijuana -- whose dollar volume is many times greater -- it might actually have enough money to pay its employees.

By legalizing marijuana, California could immediately free tens of thousands of prisoners at a savings of tens of millions of dollars. Those quick savings could be a down payment on the salaries of its employees (and cover the unemployment benefits that will be due prison builders and guards who will be laid off).

But they, in turn, could go to work GROWING marijuana. With its huge agricultural resources, California could immediately become the world hub of the legal marijuana trade. (Mendocino and other counties are already vying for this title).

posted by Bruce at 2:00 PM
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He chased her down the street and back into the house picking up a lump of concrete along the way.

He then whacked her over the head in a bedroom with the concrete causing skin on her head to split and start bleeding.

They were both "covered in blood" and he kicked her in the face causing bruising.

Yea, I thought making church mandatory was tantamount to child abuse already but this . . . sick religious fucks.

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posted by Dr. Menlo at 9:30 AM
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Thursday, July 09, 2009. *

Healthcare, for me, will be the defining moment of the Obama administration.

If he manages to pass a strong health care bill with a public option--and not some mealy mouthed coop plan or an option made worthless by a 7 year to infinity "trigger"--then I think he'll be reelected. Right now, he's doing terribly on the entirety of the Big Three, or Four if you read Glenn Greenwald's constant and irritating reports about Barry's "no snitchin' " policy when it comes to Republican war crimes. The Big Three include healthcare, EFCA and a real climate change bill. His climate change bill, which I canvassed on several weeks ago while waving around John Fetterman's picture on a flyer, simply won't get it done as it was written as it passed out of Waxmen's US House committee. Today, there was an AP report that he's considering Kent Conrad's coop idea so he can get bipartisan support. Look, the goal of the government isn't to be bipartisan. It's to pass a bill that provides a real health care alternative to upwards of 40 million Americans. Chris Bowers wrote the definitive piece on this topic here. I don't want to get "along" with or "work" with the Republicans. They're an evil party. You're an evil party, by the way, when you always frak over the public interest on behalf of rich fatcats. That's the very definition of the Republican Party. Turns out, though, that may be a lot of democrats as well. We've always suspected the Blue Dogs and Ben Nelsons of the world but I was kind of hoping the President would be on my side. So far, not so much.

The Big Payoff for the president if he were to pass real health care reform is that it almost guarantees his reelection. For example, I'm not happy with a lot of the president's policies but could I afford to vote against him if I had real healthcare? No I couldn't. The reason why I couldn't is that I know that if the Republicans were to retake the White House their first order of business would be destroying meaningful health care reform. That's the nature of the Scorpion. There would be upwards of 40 million previously uninsured Americans just like me who simply couldn't afford a Democratic Party loss.

Here's the worst case scenario: Obama fails to pass meaningful health care reform. His climate change bill passes congress but it not only doesn't help the climate but there would be no incentives--as environmentalists have argued--to actually create "green jobs." Zippo. They won't be building wind turbines in Braddock because the utility companies will have no incentive to do so. Third, well, if he punts on both climate change and healthcare we can imagine how hard he'll fight for a meaningful EFCA bill. Not much. Keep in mind that Penny Pritzker, billionaire benefactor and rainmaker, has already been reported to oppose EFCA because she happens to be a hotel magnate, who benefits from keeping the hotel "help" reliably under a Living Wage. And don't get me started on Barry's "no snitchin" policy on Republican War Crimes.

(You know, the really interesting thing about Barry's "no snitchin" policy is that Republican judges--which dems never seem to block--can actually abide by the constitution and screw Obama's presidency at the same time. Read Greenwald's point five.)

If that worst case scenario comes to pass and if he's 0 for 4 on those important issues, then I don't see how he gets reelected. I think he might even have a problem getting the nomination again. I would be looking at my options during the primaries... Dick "the banks run this town" Durbin would be nice..

Related: Bill Maher sums up the situation nicely.


posted by Philip Shropshire at 12:54 AM
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Wednesday, July 08, 2009. *
Thanks for restoring Warblogger Watch but there is one problem: where are the archives? I was thinking about using this new service called Smashwords to create an ebook called, appropriately enough, The Best of Warblogger Watch, but I can't find the archives. Where are they?

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posted by Philip Shropshire at 11:56 PM
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Sunday, July 05, 2009. *
posted by Dr. Menlo at 10:00 AM
Anonymous Anonymous said...
She says the same as Richard Dawkins but she wears an ankh (yay!) and is a damn sight more sexy. Well done young lady for brightening up my day.
7:38 PM  
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Saturday, July 04, 2009. *

Follow them on Twitter

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posted by Dr. Menlo at 11:48 AM
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